Know Your Neighborhood When Branding Multifamily 

Hidden gems in your area can help inform your strategy for branding multifamily properties

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In our multifamily design and marketing practice, we do some of our best work out of the office and away from the computer. When branding multifamily properties, creating a voice and personality for the brand takes more than choosing the right colors or taglines. 

When we start a new project, we find it invaluable to experience the neighborhood as if we lived there. We explore mom-and-pop shops, neighborhood favorite eateries tucked into alleys, funky art galleries and more to discover what draws people to that place. 

As you approach your branding strategy, taking time to experience the neighborhood first-hand can help you find just the right vibe to tell your brand story. 

Here’s how we tend to approach this process. We:

Caffeinate 

Since coffee is one of our team’s core values, we find that perfect cup of joe first. (Ok, fine, perfect hazelnut cream triple-shot latte.) 

We’d bet that at least 50 percent of your residents will seek out that great coffee shop as one of their first outings. Even if they drink tea or water, a lot of people want a place to hang out, read, work and to be around neighbors. The coffee shop can serve as their local hub. Maybe it’s Starbucks, or maybe it’s a unique local joint that specializes in hard-to-find coffee creations. 

When you find that great spot, make sure your residents and prospects know about it. Work it into your marketing materials or maybe even consider giving away coffee gift cards to new residents. 


Try out commuter routes

Next, we will hop on a train or point our rental car toward the nearest freeway to experience local traffic. 

While nobody loves a commute, some communities are well-situated near transit or convenient routes to major business centers. If you are, play it up big time. If you can save people time or stress in their daily lives, you will become much more attractive as a long-term rental home. 

Also take a look at bike routes and potential ride-share stops. A variety of transportation options will help meet the needs of your residents. 


Play outside

Speaking of bike routes, what other outdoor activities can residents access near your multifamily property? 

When we visit a new client or new city, we definitely spend time exploring the great outdoors. In some locations, that means sitting on a park bench watching ducks in a pond. In others, it might mean hiking to a waterfall practically in the property’s backyard (we’re looking at you, Portland). 

Parks, trails, basketball or tennis courts, golf courses, boat docks and more absolutely close leases for properties. People work hard. They want home to be a place that means comfort, relaxation and fun. If your community offers nearby access to recreation, incorporate that into your brand. 

Don’t forget that pets are people, too. Pet amenities are huge for renters. 


Spend time with the on-site staff 

Your leasing team spends a lot of time at the property and in the neighborhood. They know the location, but they also know your residents best. When we work with a new client, we take time to listen to the leasing team for insights. 

A great example: A community manager at Echelon, one of our clients, described the community’s vibe as “Elite Swagger.” Branding gold. 


Think about lifestyle

As we eat and (and possibly drink) our way through the neighborhood, we get to know some local perspectives. We try to consider what we would want in a place to call home -- and what it would be like to live in each place. 

We love playing locals for a few days when we visit our clients across the country. Yeah, it’s fun, but it’s truly time well spent as we begin to craft a brand story and personality for each property. 

Do you need help understanding your property’s neighborhood and incorporating that into your branding? Reach out to us. We specialize in creating stand-out multifamily brands and marketing strategies that reach renters at a deeper level.